Theology Cafe

Space to consider

This is a selection from a variety of authors on my bookshelf. These books are classics rather than latest works, chosen for the significance and endurance of their message. They are texts of theology and some are not easy reading, but worth the work! Some are works of reference, but others are intended to be read through.

A re-statement of apologetics for the present day. Delightfully written and sensitive to modern culture.

The Reason for God: Timothy Keller

Yoder’s message is that the kingdom is a real threat to the political order, and that Jesus’ death at the hands of politicians was no accident.

The politics of Jesus: John Howard Yoder

A must-have reference book tracing usage and context of biblical words from Hebrew through to secular Greek. This is a useful upgrade from Vines Expository Dictionary.

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Kittel, Friedrich ed (Abridged)

A classic work to understand the message of the New Testament. GE Ladd pioneered the idea that the Kingdom of Heaven (already and not yet) is the central theme of the gospels.

A Theology of the New Testament: GE Ladd

All about principalities, powers, authorities, but from a solid theological perspective. Berkhof pioneers the connection between Paul’s language of spiritual forces in heavenly places and earthly political realities.

Christ and the Powers: Hendrik Berkhof (tr Yoder)

Another classic work for a church emerging from the historical cocoon of cultural privilege. Easy to read and very engaging.

Resident Aliens: Stanley Hauerwas, William Willimon

A solid theological work from a conservative viewpoint, advocating the role of women in leadership.

Women in the Church: Grenz, Kjesbo

A survey of the role of the Old Testament prophet, from a pre-eminent OT scholar. Another classic work.

The prophetic imagination: Walter Brueggemann

Brueggemann picks out a hundred or so themes (ancestors, angels, the ark…) and gives a survey of their development through the Old Testament. Excellent reference for biblical theology.

Reverberations of Faith :Walter Brueggemann

A restatement of kingdom-centred theology from a Vineyard perspective. A great survey of this biblical theme.

Breakthrough: Derek Morphew

A sample of NT Wright’s work re-reading Paul’s letters as a call to inclusion in the covenant people rather than personal salvation. Controversial and brilliant.

Paul in Fresh Perspective: NT Wright

Newbigin was a missionary who returned to UK and discovered his homeland had become a mission field. Another great resource for a church in a relativistic culture.

Foolishness to the Greeks: Lesslie Newbigin

An easy introduction to the discovery that others have gone before us! A great read about the good ,the bad and the ugly!

Church History in Plain Language: Bruce Shelley

I’m not a great fan of systematic theology (it tends to put things in boxes), but this is a great one-volume reference to have. It is a solid theological work written from a charismatic angle.

Renewal Theology: J Rodman Williams

This all about the atonement – why did Jesus need to die? A masterful survey and nuanced perspective from NT Wright.

The day the Revolution Began: NT Wright

An old classic, but invaluable introduction to serious bible study and preparation for teaching or preaching.

How to read the bible for all its worth: Gordon Fee

Tom Wright gives biblical insight on a range of contemporary issues: evolution, the environment, terrorism… A great (and easy) read.

Surprised by scripture: Tom Wright

A biblical statement of the preterist position which holds that most of the terrible events (Great Tribulation) forecast by Jesus in Matthew 24 already happened in AD 70. At times this book veers towards the sensationalist. But well worth the read.

Victorious Eschatology: Harold Eberle